Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

NI Justice Minister

Policing board’s Epaphroditos to Ford’s Nero

Thu 6 February 2014, 7:38pm

Tweet Nero is said to have been killed (albeit at his own request – or he may have committed suicide) by his private secretary Epaphroditos. David Ford’s (aka little Nero) solo run to change the rules for appointing the new Chief Constable has been slapped down by the Policing Board. From the BBC: At a […] more »

NI Justice Minister: “I trust that the executive will recognise that it is the right decision, and that I was right to make it”

Fri 31 January 2014, 4:46pm

Tweet In the aftermath of the Northern Ireland First and deputy First Ministers/Executive/Assembly/Policing Board members semi-detached polit-bureau’s kerfuffle over the NI Justice Minister’s proposed changes to the criteria for the next Chief Constable, Liam Clarke reveals some significant correspondence on the matter.  Firstly, the Chief Executive of the NI Policing Board, Sam Pollock, tries his hand at […] more »

NI Justice Minister: “It is important to note that, in setting some minimum standards, I am not prohibiting the Board from adding to these minimum criteria…”

Tue 28 January 2014, 2:39pm

Tweet Whilst Brian may regard them as “surely sensible” changes to the criteria for the next Chief Constable, and they may well be, as I mentioned in updates to a previous post, no sooner had the Northern Ireland Justice Minister, the Alliance Party’s David Ford, announced those changes than the NI First and deputy First […] more »

“given the particular operational emphasis of this year’s conference…”

Tue 17 September 2013, 2:04pm

Tweet According to a Belfast Telegraph report, unlike previous years, neither the Northern Ireland Justice Minister, David Ford, nor the Irish Justice Minister, Alan Shatter, will attend this year’s cross-border police summit on organised crime co-operation.  From the Belfast Telegraph report Mr Shatter said that, given the particular operational emphasis of this year’s conference, it would […] more »

“creating consistency between each of the devolved institutions across the United Kingdom”

Mon 13 May 2013, 3:50pm

Tweet While the bullshit distraction that is the DUP/Sinn Féin “Building a United Community” paper [pdf file] was being paraded across the airwaves last week - Think of it as a revamped Contested Space Programme [Don't tell the International Fund for Ireland - Ed], pre-empting consultation on area-based planning, and Girdwood times 10.  [And another non-working […] more »

“The department of justice said discussions about the precise source of funding for the HET are continuing…”

Thu 21 March 2013, 8:45pm

Tweet The issue of funding the ongoing work of the Historical Enquiries Team, as well as its perceived independence, may be about to become a matter of political disagreement…  As the BBC NI home affairs correspondent, Vincent Kearney, reports Hundreds of families have co-operated with the team on the basis that it was acting independently. Many […] more »

“Items not detected included drugs, mobile phone batteries, scissors and a knife.”

Wed 13 February 2013, 10:05pm

Tweet The BBC NI home affairs correspondent Vincent Kearney seems to have gotten hold of a prison service evaluation report of the three month trial of electronic body scanners at Magilligan prison and Hydebank Wood -  as a suggested alternative to full-body searches.  The Assembly’s Justice Committee is due to discuss the report tomorrow [Thursday].  From the […] more »

“Regulation of the internet is not an issue that falls within my responsibility or, indeed, that of any part of our devolved Executive.”

Tue 12 February 2013, 12:16am

Tweet For which, I think, we should be very grateful indeed.  Not that such constitutional technicalities prevented MLAs, of all parties, from enthusiastically debating a Sinn Féin motion last week calling for the Northern Ireland Justice Minister “to explore the introduction of better regulation of [social networking websites]“.  Here’s Newton Emerson’s response in Saturday’s Irish News […] more »

NI Justice Minister: “While this area will obviously require careful handling in Northern Ireland…”

Wed 4 April 2012, 4:34pm

Tweet Some Northern Ireland MPs have united in opposition to suggested proposals to extend the UK Government’s powers to monitor people’s phone, email and internet records.  Some don’t appear to have an opinion…  Although there does seem to be some dispute about the actual proposals themselves. Meanwhile, as the BBC report, the UK Government has actually consulted on […] more »

Martin McGuinness: “This decision is a very decisive decision…”

Wed 11 January 2012, 3:16pm

Tweet …and not at all another fudge to keep the Department of Justice upright while they re-apply the same sticking plaster as last time. And as TUV leader Jim Allister said, “The Committee, of course, will lend itself to that farce.” According to the Northern Ireland deputy First Minister, Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness Mr McGuinness said the office of […] more »

“That would require approval by the justice committee, the executive and by the assembly as a whole”

Wed 21 December 2011, 11:18pm

Tweet According to the BBC report’s headline -”Justice minister may look into the rehiring of RUC officers”.  Well, he may. At issue, apparently, are the unknown number of former RUC officers in the 399 staff currently supplied by a recruitment agency for temporary employment, as civilians, by the PSNI.  Apparently, again, “Sinn Fein has asked the Northern […] more »

“The Committee, of course, will lend itself to that farce…”

Thu 1 December 2011, 8:43pm

Tweet Having been tasked by the Northern Ireland Assembly to review the initial ministerial provision for the Department of Justice and to “make recommendations relating to the provision that should exist from 1 May 2012″, the Assembly and Executive Review Committee failed to complete their task.  From the AER Committee’s report 8. Following Committee discussion, […] more »

Justice Minister: “grandstanding and chest beating seen in the Chamber” on mandatory sentences call

Wed 30 November 2011, 5:25pm

Tweet As the BBC reports, yesterday in the Northern Ireland Assembly, by 44 votes to 41, MLAs called on the NI Justice Minister, Alliance Party leader David Ford, to “introduce legislation to impose mandatory minimum prison sentences for people who are found guilty of violent crimes against older or vulnerable people”. The motion was agreed despite opposition […] more »

Hostage taking in NI prisons

Sat 26 November 2011, 8:50pm

Tweet Since his election earlier this year Jim Allister has become something of a bête noire for justice minister David Ford. It was Allister who first exposed the possibility of changing the symbols of the prison service and dropping the term “Her Majesty’s Prison” resulting in Peter Robinson’s slap down for Ford. Allister also highlighted […] more »

“The real horse trading [over Justice Ministry] is likely to happen between party leaders…”

Tue 8 November 2011, 9:03pm

Tweet And only two parties, the DUP and Sinn Féin have the necessary votes to trade…   ANYhoo, as I mentioned during the Sinn Féin ard fheis when the deputy chair of the Northern Ireland Assembly’s Justice Committee, and noted plagiarist, Raymond McCartney complained that “David Ford’s department [of Justice] is like Jurassic Park.” …if Sinn Féin aren’t happy with […] more »

“David Ford’s department is like Jurassic Park.”

Mon 12 September 2011, 8:53pm

Tweet Apparently, according to BBC NI’s Martina Purdy, Sinn Féin’s Gerry Kelly, MLA, Northern Ireland Junior Minister Policing Board member, gave “a fiery speech on the Police Ombudsman” at the party’s ard fheis at the weekend.  It’s not listed in the party’s collection… [Added by AlaninBelfast ...] In the Irish News today, Diana Rusk says he went “off script” when telling […] more »

“there are these enormous delays and they are holding up cases at all levels”

Wed 24 August 2011, 3:27pm

Tweet The BBC reports comments by senior judge, Mr Justice Hart, criticising the lack of “properly resourced” and “properly organised” forensic science facilities in Northern Ireland.  From the BBC report The judge said: “There is an entirely unacceptable and unjustified and indeed gross delay on the part of the relevant authorities in dealing with the […] more »

Questions remain over Lillis release

Sun 21 August 2011, 7:38pm

Tweet Given the high-profile campaigning on the case, the Northern Ireland Parole Commissioners’ uncommon statement about their apparent u-turn in re-releasing on licence former Provisional IRA member, Brendan Lillis, fails to address concerns of political interference in that process.  Here’s what the commissioners are reported to have said In a statement they said: “The Parole Commissioners have been […] more »

David Ford: “as minister my decision has to be bound by the best professional advice I can be given.”

Thu 4 August 2011, 11:23am

Tweet Having met with various interested parties, and despite the advice from Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness, the Northern Ireland Justice Minister, David Ford, has rejected calls to free former Provisional IRA member Brendan Lillis on compassionate grounds.  From the BBC report Mr Ford said he had taken “an active interest” in the case and had sought additional independent […] more »

McGuinness: “I trust that David Ford will take the right decision…”

Tue 2 August 2011, 7:27pm

Tweet Having interfered in an ongoing police investigation last week, this week the Northern Ireland deputy First Minister Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness, MP, MLA, doubles up by giving the NI Justice Minster, David Ford, some legal advice.  From the BBC report “There can be no doubt that Brendan Lillis is seriously ill and does not […] more »

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